Xavi Hernandez: Barcelona’s supply chain maestro

31 May 2011
There has been a lot of speculation over the future of Barcelona’s midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez over recent weeks. Having just added a third Champions League winners medal to go along with his World Cup, European Championship and Spanish league medals, many believe that retirement from football is just around the corner. Another popular theory is that he’ll cash in and make a move to the well-moneyed Manchester City. But I have my own theory – that he’ll hang up his boots and step into the world of supply chain management. And here’s why… Identifying suppliers: Sometimes you need speed, at other times you need strength and nobody understands that better than this man. He will determine the target (goal-scoring opportunity), develop a strategy (long ball, through ball) and identify the ideal bidder to handle supply (Messi or Villa). Controlling supply: He is at the centre of everything. Whether it’s at the early stage of production (goal kicks) or the late stages (incisive passes into the area), Xavi is there managing every process and movement of the team, with his guidance and overall vision ensuring things move in the right direction and at the right pace. Handling a breakdown in supply: One of the most important characteristics in a supply chain manager is their ability to come out on top when the process breaks down, and this is where Xavi is the master. If his progress down the left wing is blocked, he calmly takes things back a step, re-evaluates and finds another way around the obstacle until production once again runs smoothly. Sadly, I think the lure of the Barcelona coaching team, Man City’s millions or media punditry will probably stop Xavi from making the move into procurement full time, but perhaps he could find the time to fit in a talk at a supply chain conference?
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